Friday, October 10, 2008

Kilo's Sudbury Ride

Those of you who follow this Blog know that we lost two good friends on July 22, 2008. One of them, Mark "Kilo" Irwin of Garner, North Carolina had a last request that I have often spoken of. His loving wife, Babe, honoured this request by mailing portions of his ashes to VROC people around the world to be spread in a spirit of remembrance of an outstanding person.

Sandy and I first met Kilo at SEVROC in Suches, Georgia an September, 1999. It was our first VROC gathering and Kilo had ridden as far as we had to get there. Although he was riding from Kansas then, he met his Babe in the Wind in Georgia and soon joined her in North Carolina. Mark and I crossed paths from time to time in Colorado, Suches and Lake Lure and he earned my respect, as well as that of many others, as a wise and thoughtful man.

Sandy and I had already participated in the spreading of Kilo's ashes in Maine and Arkansas last month, but we still had our own little ceremony to perform. Today was an exceptional October day, so Gary "Biker" Lamarche, Sandy and I headed north on Highway 144 to a local landmark, A.Y. Jackson Lookout above Onaping Falls. Jackson was a painter and a member of the Canadian Group of Seven who made Ontario landscapes famous in the first half of the 20th Century.

This is a beautiful spot with highly interesting geological and historical perspectives. I brought Sherm up here last year to give him a flavour of the Pre-Cambrian shield and Northern Ontario.

Gary Leads The Ride Up Highway 144

Traffic was light but there were a few more people at the Lookout than I would have expected for an October weekday. We made our way along the path to the upper lookout deck and I went around the barrier to the edge of the hill. With Sandy and Gary looking on, I said a few words and our thoughts turned to Mark and his family as the wind carried him aloft.

Skid and Kilo's Ashes

After a few quiet moments, we returned to the parking lot and returned to the city.

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